Thursday, July 2, 2015: Stuffed Mushrooms with Tomato-Herb Sauce and Zio Kenny's Shrimp by Perry Rea

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Ricotta and Arugula Stuffed Mushrooms

12 baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

1 cup ricotta cheese

½ cup chopped arugula

1 egg, whisked

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil

Arrange mushroom on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Combine the ricotta, arugula, whisked egg, garlic, and salt in a mixing bowl. Spoon ricotta mixture into each of the mushrooms. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Pillows in Fresh Tomato Herb Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ cup water

2 cups spinach, firmly packed

2 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 whole beaten egg

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Large plastic food storage bags or waxed paper and toothpicks for assembling

Fresh Tomato-Herb Sauce:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic chopped

1 twenty-eight-ounce can shopped tomatoes

5 tablespoons chopped basil leaves

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place chicken breasts in a plastic food bag or between two large sheets of wax paper. Pound out the chicken from the center of the bag outward using mallet or heavy bottom skillet. The breasts should end up about double the size of the original breast.

Add water to a medium, sized skillet and bring to a boil. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat, drain well and chop. Set aside.

For the sauce: In a medium sized sauce pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil Add chopped garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add chopped basil and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to stir.

For the stuffing: In a bowl combine chopped spinach, garlic, salt, ricotta cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, egg, and nutmeg.

To Assemble: Place a quarter of the stuffing on each breast and wrap breast over the stuffing. Secure breasts with toothpicks. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add breasts to the pan and brown all sides 12 to 15 minutes. Remove breasts and add sauce to the skillet. Carefully remove the toothpicks from the chicken breasts and return to the pan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Serve the chicken breasts with generous spoonfuls of sauce.

Zio Kenny's Shrimp

1 dozen jumbo shrimp, deveined and tails removed, rinsed well

1 cup cold milk

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon sea salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For sauce to finish dish:

1 tablespoon butter

14 teaspoon flour

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ cup dry white wine

sea salt

freshly cracked pepper

Place the shrimp in a bowl with the milk and set aside. Combine the flour, salt and cayenne pepper on a flat surface or large platter.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When a particle of flour dropped into the oil sizzles and colors lightly, it's hot enough. The oil should not be smoking.

Remove the shrimp from the milk and dredge it in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour nd add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp, until crispy and golden brown. Be careful not to overcook, or the shrimp will be tough. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Take the skillet off the heat, allow it to cool slightly (so the butter won't burn when it's added), and add butter. After it melts, add the ¼ teaspoon flour and whisk combine. Return the pan to low heat and add the lemon juice and wine. Boil to thicken and reduce, about 2 minutes, whisking from time to time. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Return the shrimp to the skillet so that it picks up some of the sauce. Plate the shrimp and spoon the sauce over liberally. Serve immediately, while the shrimp are still crispy.